Twistle has been actively engaged with several major healthcare systems helping monitor and manage thousands of COVID-19 patients since the earliest encounters in the United States. In addition to remote patient monitoring, Twistle has also helped health systems keep track of their frontline staff who may have been exposed to the virus as well. The experience of partnering early with clinical teams at ground zero of the outbreak in the United States, rapidly iterating COVID-19 related pathways as new data has become available and sharing lessons across our user community on how to best deploy and optimize solutions, several key lessons have emerged:   

  1. Focus on ways to keep patients in their homes.
    Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) programs enable treatment for the vast majority of patients at home. This not only reduces exposure to others, but it also aids their recovery and reduces the cost of their care by eliminating expensive ER visits.  
  2. Provide the tools to collect data from patients remotely.
    Leveraging better, cheaper data collection tools and home diagnostic devices to collect data throughout the day can help.  The most successful RPM programs provide most patients with digital thermometers and pulse oximeters to get key clinical data.  If needed, patients can access how-to-videos as part of the engagement to understand how to use their devices properly. 
  3. Every patient’s needs are different. 
    As some patients leave the program, new patients are entering it. Use a patient engagement system that can provide information and education delivered at the time each patient needs it. As their condition matures, the system needs to prompt them when it’s time to do something (i.e. take a measurement).  
  4. Make sure your system provides a dashboard and notifications. 
    As patient volumes grow rapidly, there is a real need for visibility into the disposition of those whose symptoms have progressed to a level that requires additional engagement (i.e. a nurse call, a visit to the ER, or admission if justified).
  5. Ease of use is critical for patients, doctors and clinical staff.
    In a perfect world, there would be plenty of time to properly train on new systems, but in the current environment, a system should be easy and intuitive to use immediately. It must be easy for patients of all ages and tech literacy to engage.
  6. Capture information to maximize reimbursement and inform quality decisions.  
    As important as ever, every health system must pay attention to reimbursement for services.  Having a way to capture time spent with patients leads to both reimbursement as well as helpful metrics to improve care.   
  7. Invest in telehealth capabilities. 
    Build a telehealth infrastructure capable of utilizing remote doctors and specialists outside of the highest need area to augment clinical staff located on-site. The current pandemic has created focus and a sense of urgency that we did not have before.
  8. We know this will happen again. 
    We need to share our experiences, find and collect meaningful data to publish, and educate others, and take the time to do a thorough review when we get past the crisis. We also need to set up systems that are robust, yet flexible enough that they can be quickly adapted to different conditions.
  9. Collaboration is key. 
    To address challenges like the current pandemic, aligning with partners who put the patient first and are committed to helping you meet your goals is as critical as the technology. Teaming up with our healthcare system partners the past few weeks has been both challenging and exhilarating.  One of our primary company values is always putting #PatientsFirst. Another is #WinAsATeam, which we’ve done by partnering in the trenches with healthcare providers.  
  10. It’s not too late.
    Twistle has demonstrated success in deploying COVID-19 pathways in as little as five days. There is still time to put affordable patient engagement tools in place that can help your system manage hundreds – even thousands – of patients safely at home and force-multiply your team.  If you reach out today, your hospital or health system could start making a huge impact in fighting the pandemic by monitoring patients and staff as early as next week.

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) programs enable treatment for the vast majority of patients at home. This not only reduces exposure to others, but it also aids their recovery and reduces the cost of their care by eliminating expensive ER visits. 

Perhaps the most important lesson to share at the time of this blog posting is this: It’s not too late to put patient engagement tools in place that can help your health system manage the COVID-19 pandemic in your community. For more information about how we’ve been able to help health systems across the nation, download the full case study, or visit www.twistlecovid19.com.

What lessons do you have to share with our community?  Please join the dialogue – we are all relying on each other to get through this challenge.

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